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MJ fans, doctor recall icon 3T ending hiatus to take up Jackson legacy

 GLENDALE, United States, June 26, (Agencies): Michael Jackson fans laid flowers Wednesday at the pop icon’s mausoleum to mark the fifth anniversary of his death, as the singer’s doctor recalled his patient’s final hours.

Conrad Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter over Jackson’s 2009 death, voiced remorse but insisted he was not to blame.
“I am very remorseful that Michael has passed,” Murray told CNN.
“Michael was a friend. I felt like a father figure to Michael,” he said, adding that he treated Jackson not because of the $150,000 a month he was going to be paid. “It was not about money, it was about the love of Michael,” he said.
His comments to CNN came hours after around 100 fans, some dressed as the self-proclaimed King of Pop, gathered at the Forest Lawn cemetery outside Los Angeles, where the 50-year-old died while rehearsing for a comeback tour.
“We love you Michael,” read a banner on a giant red heart placed outside the small mausoleum in Glendale, north of downtown LA.
“Five years without you — we love you more,” read one message, while others said simply: “We miss you” or “Thank you for continuously giving us reason to smile.”
Mikie, who came with a group of girlfriends from Japan all dressed in Jackson T-shirts, said it was her second time at the neatly-tended cemetery.
“There are lots of feelings,” she told AFP.
Jackson died on June 25, 2009 of an overdose of the clinical anesthetic propofol, administered by his doctor to help treat insomnia as the singer prepared for “This is It” shows in London.
Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 over the star’s death and jailed for four years. He was released in October after serving two years.
On Wednesday, he recounted the final hours as he gave Jackson a series of drugs to help him sleep. But he insisted he did not know that another doctor had been giving the singer another drug, Demerol, for years to treat pain.
“Michael Jackson lived a life of pain, for so many years, decades... I could not help but be sympathetic to this man,” said Murray, who added that he plans to appeal his conviction to the Supreme Court if necessary.
“I have suffered a lot... my life is certainly a struggle. I’m doing my best to put it back on track,” he said, adding: “I grieve for Michael every day.”
Jackson was planning a global comeback tour to help him stave off bankruptcy, five years after being acquitted of child molestation charges that left his career in tatters.
He had debts of up to $500 million before his death, but in the five years since, his executors have earned more than $700 million, according to the recent book “Michael Jackson Inc.”
Money-making ventures have included the “This is It” movie of rehearsals for the doomed tour, a touring Cirque du Soleil stage show and two posthumous albums so far, with more to come.
Fans came Wednesday from Britain, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the United States and many other countries to the cemetery, the final resting place of generations of Hollywood celebrities.
Carine Temmerman, from a Belgian Jackson fan club, picked through the carpet of messages laid out before the star’s mausoleum. “I’ve cried a lot, seeing what people have written,” she said.
“It’s a sad day for most of us, but we decided to celebrate who the man was, and celebrate his legacy,” said Melanie Freeman from New York.
“Five years later, it just grows, it’s not diminished at all,” she told AFP, adding: “All the things that MJ used to do, we do it for him now.”
MILAN: Michael Jackson’s nephews and heirs to his musical talent say they are ready to take up the pop superstar’s legacy, ending a 15-year hiatus prolonged by his dispute with Sony and untimely death.
Taj, TJ and Taryll Jackson, sons of Tito, one of the original Jackson Five, are preparing for a European tour this fall and are working on a new album, they said in an interview on the sidelines of Milan Fashion Week, which ended Tuesday.
Taj Jackson told The Associated Press that their career as 3T stalled when they lost rights to an album during Jackson’s dispute with Sony around the year 2000. They were planning a comeback in 2009, and “the day we started recording was when Michael passed,” he said Monday evening at a fashion event.
The brothers decided that focusing on Jackson’s three children was the priority, Taj Jackson said, adding now the kids are pushing them to resume their careers. TJ has since become the children’s co-legal guardian.
“We wanted to try to the best of our ability to fill in the holes, because we lost our mother at a young age,” Taj Jackson said. “That was more important for us. Now they are kind of edging us, them and our grandmother” to resume their musical career.
The brothers each have recording studios at home, and have never stopped making music. But they have only rarely performed publicly in the last 15 years or so, notably for a Michael Jackson tribute concert three years ago.
Taj credits their uncle with not only inspiring them, but also teaching them “the secrets of music and songwriting, and performing, at an early age.”
“I’ll never forget, he told us, ‘After I retire you are going to have to take on the legacy and continue it.’ And we took those words to heart,” he said.

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